Lucy Lippard Mixed Blessings: Contemporary

ISBN 13: 9780394577593

Mixed Blessings: Contemporary

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9780394577593: Mixed Blessings: Contemporary
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In America today there is a little-known explosion of creative art by women and men from many different ethnic backgrounds. Mixed Blessings is the first book to discuss the crosscultural process taking place in the work of Latino, Native-, African-, and Asian-American artists. Rich with illustrations of artworks in many different mediums, and filled with incisive quotes and unsettling reports, it is more than a book about art, it is a complex meditation on the relationships of people to their cultures.

Lucy R. Lippard, one of our most original and insightful writers on art, challenges conventional approaches and explores the role of images in a changing society. Among her subjects are the uncertainty of exile; the confusion of identity in attempts to climb out of the melting pot; and art that speaks for itself, reversing stereotypes and reclaiming history and memory. Mixed Blessings is a book that will affect how we think of ourselves and each other.

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Attempting to examine how Native, African, Asian and Latino Americans "see themselves and others" and to analyze "the ways cross-cultural activity is reflected in the visual arts," Lippard ( Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory ) has compiled a daunting amount of information about the history, religion and aesthetic traditions of these cultures. But she includes so many artists, working in a wide variety of media, that the reader, inundated, tends to lose sight of her broader themes. In the chapter on cultural mixing, for example, Lippard segues from a discussion on tribalism and ethnocentrism to an appreciation of graffiti as a form of creative expression to a brief history of painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. With this excess of data, there is probably something to pique everyone's interest, but readers will have to sift through to find it. Other topics embrace the relationship between primitivism and popular culture, the link between traditional tribal ceremonies and contemporary performance art, and issues of racism and miscegenation. The photographs provide adequate illustration, but the tangential captions distract the reader even further.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Lippard, Lucy
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